During a client workshop the other day, it became clear that a one-to-one relationship existed with their key customer. This single relationship, albeit effective and profitable highlighted a number of risks and lost opportunities all around the tactic of cross-selling. This means opening up the customer/supplier relationship to multiple points of contact that allow access to other decision-makers in the client’s organisation who may be interested in additional products and services. How does this help?
1. Increased sales to an existing customer is the fastest and most profitable way to grow. The cost to serve is kept relatively low. For example relatively little additional research compared to a new prospect and lower marketing costs if you ask your current client “who else might be interested in our services and could you introduce us?
2. Lower risk as the relationship is not dependent on one person in the client organisation who may move to another role or leave the company. Of course they may still require your services in their new role, however, there is a risk of this not being the case. There will also be a need to develop an entirely new relationship with the new decision-maker who may be motivated by other factors, including the desire to make a change!
3. Lower risk related to your own business focal point. If they suddenly leave, who replaces them and can build the relationship? Sometimes it can be difficult to introduce a new contact to the client, however, if a start is made with client introductions to other decision-makers, this is an opportune time to suggest “I would like to bring…… along as they …….” You could explain that the new person has some expertise in this area or product, service etc”.
In this context then, cross-selling represents development of multiple relationships between supplier and customer. Do you agree? What experiences have you had? What works and what do we need to take into account?
The Week. As it is half-term for the schools, I have had a relatively quiet week giving me an opportunity to focus on service development. This included planning around The Leadership Forum membership benefits, connecting with contacts not on holiday, and interviewing in my Non-Executive Director role. I was delighted to hear that Beachcroft LLP are keen to host the next London Highflyingdivas Forum on the 22nd June and places to learn about Blogging for Business at the event on the 22nd June in Chelmsford are proving popular. We also now only have a couple of places left for Strategic Risk Management session at The Leadership Forum on the 8th June in Colchester.
Reading for the week. Do Something Different: Proven Marketing Techniques to Transform your Business by Jurgen Wolff has been recommended by a Leadership Forum member. It is all about marketing strategy and gives 14 key principles of marketing yourself and your product or service. Have you read it? Did you find it useful and how have you applied it?
Lighter Reflections. I felt rather sorry for the poor cashier at my local bank. Each cashier was telling her customer that they might get a call asking about the service they received, and “if you feel that it was good, can you please press 7”. Why was I sorry for my cashier? Well, there was no way she was going to be brave enough to ask me what I thought of the bank’s service. Two months ago, another cashier decided that my debit card needed cancelling (don’t ask me why). I found out at the supermarket after the weekly shop! I went into the bank and a new card was ordered. No apologies given. Three weeks later, no card. On the phone to be told it hadn’t been ordered and they would order it now. So, imagine my reaction when I asked the Cashier and she said “No card has been ordered”. She could see my nostrils expanding, my eyebrow raised (apparently I only ever raise one eyebrow) and my body language as I fought not to go into natural boxing stance honed during my Body Combat gym sessions. She was saved as I caught sight of the “Please be kind to our staff” notice on the teller’s window. So I took a deep breath, counted to 10 and said “I guess you won’t be asking me to press 7 then!” She did apologise and she did, hopefully, sort it all out. (I say ‘hopefully’ as I won’t know until a new card actually arrives). So she would get a 7 for rectifying her bank’s 0.
Future Forum Dates:
Leadership Forum, 8th June, Colchester – Risk Management
Highflyingdivas, 21st June, London – Beachcroft LLP
Highflyingdivas Forum, 22nd June, Chelmsford – Blogging for Business